5 Dog Breeds That are Banned in Australia in 2024

banned dogs in Australia

Australia is a beautiful country known for its stunning landscapes and unique wildlife. Australia is a popular tourist destination and is an extremely pet-friendly country. However, if you’re planning to relocate your dog to Australia,  there are certain laws you should be familiar with. Australia has a strict ban on the importation of certain dog breeds to protect the public and other animals from potentially dangerous dogs.

These laws may differ according to state and territory. But some breeds are fully or partially banned across Australia. In this article, we’ll look at the banned dogs in Australia in 2024 due to their bad history.

What Dogs Are Banned In Australia?

The American Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, and Perro de Presa Canario are the dog breeds banned in Australia. These breeds are prohibited from importation, breeding, and ownership across the country, with strict regulations enforced by state and territory governments to ensure compliance. The bans are part of efforts to minimize the risk of dog attacks and protect both residents and other animals.

5 Banned Dog Breeds in Australia

Understanding which dog breeds are banned in Australia can help potential owners looking to adopt or purchase pets. Let’s explore the 5 banned dog breeds in Australia and why.

1. Japanese Tosa

Japanese tosa banned in Australia

The Japanese Tosa is a large and powerful dog breed that was originally bred for dog fighting. This breed originated in Tosa, Japan, and is even now used in Japanese dog fighting. They are famous for their strength and fighting ability. While Japanese Tosas can be loyal and affectionate companions, they can also be aggressive towards other dogs and strangers.

This dog breed is banned in Australia due to its fighting history and capability to cause serious injuries. There have been incidents of Japanese Tosa attacks on people and other animals. They are hard to control when they are aggressive due to their gigantic size.

2. American Pit Bull Terrier

american pitbull terrier banned

American Pit Bull Terriers originated in the 19th century when bulldogs were crossed with terriers for dog fighting and other blood sports. They are fully banned in most of the regions of Australia. For over 15 years, there has been a ban on the importation of Pit Bull terriers into Australia. They are classified as a “restricted breed.” This means that owning, breeding, or importing these dogs is prohibited or heavily regulated.

3. Dogo Argentino

dogo argentino restricted in Australia

The Dogo Argentino is a muscular breed of dog that was originally bred in Argentina for hunting. They are also very loyal and protective of their family. Dogo Argentinos are highly intelligent dogs, but they can also be stubborn. 

Due to its incidents of attacks on humans and other dogs, including some that were fatal, Australia moved to ban or restrict the Dogo Argentino. These dogs are considered to be “restricted breed dogs” and are allowed to be bred in some special conditions. Dogo Argentinos are not the right breed for everyone, they require early socialization and training to become well-behaved adults.

4. Fila Brasileiro

Fila Brasileiro

The Fila Brasileiro, also known as the Brazilian Mastiff, is a large, mastiff-type dog that originated from Brazil. It is a powerful and athletic breed that is known for its loyalty and protective nature. However, the Fila Brasileiro has been banned in several countries, including Australia.

There are a few reasons why this dog breed is banned in Australia. First, the breed is known for its aggressive behaviour. Second, the Fila Brasileiro is a very powerful dog, and it can be difficult to control if it becomes aggressive. This dog breed has a history of a series of attacks on people and livestock. The ban applies to the importation and breeding, as well as the ownership of any Fila Brasileiros

5. Perro de Presa Canario

perro de presa canario

The Perro de Presa Canario (Presa Canario) is a large, mastiff-type dog that originated in the Canary Islands, Spain. Historically, these dogs were used for guarding livestock, and they have strong protective instincts. Even though they are very protective dogs, they are banned in Australia. 

Perro de Presa Canarios can be very aggressive if they are not properly trained or socialized. Their protective instincts lead them to charge on strangers and other pets. That’s why these dog breeds are banned in Australia for the interest of public safety.

Consequences of Owning a Restricted Dog Breed in Australia?

Owning a restricted dog breed in Australia itself is not an offence. But you can’t own one without the approval of the relevant local government. If you fail to register the restricted dog breed with the relevant local council, you may be fined or imprisoned. Some of the consequences you have to face with owning a restricted dog breed in Australia are:

  • If your dog charges or harasses a person or animal, you have to pay a fine of $44,000.
  • If you are caught selling or advertising a restricted dog, you will be fined $16,500.
  • If you fail to comply with control requirements, you have to pay a fine of $16,500.
  • If you fail to have a valid annual permit, you have to pay a fine of $6,600.
  • If you are found encouraging your dog to attack, your dog will be seized, and you may have to face imprisonment for 5 years, or you’ll be fined up to $77,000.

You can learn more about the penalties relating to restricted dogs on the official website of the local Australian government.

Penalties For Breeding a Restricted Dog Breed in Australia

Breeding a restricted dog breed in Australia is considered a criminal offence. Restricted breed dogs are considered to be a high risk to the public, and breeding them can contribute to the overpopulation of these breeds. If you are caught breeding a restricted breed dog in Australia, you could face a fine of up to $16,550 or six months in prison. Breeding these dogs is considered a criminal offence, even if you do it unintentionally.

Are Pit Bulls Banned in Australia?

No, Pit bulls are not entirely banned in Australia, but the importation of specific types of Pit Bulls is banned, i.e., American Pit Bull Terriers. However, owning a Pit Bull in Australia is dependent on the rules and regulations in your state or city. That means the laws and regulations vary significantly from state to state and even within local municipalities. The dog must be a descendant of an existing pit bull from Australia. This is the reason you can see very few pet owners owning a Pit Bull in Australia. For those considering owning a pit bull, they must get approval from the local authorities. Also, they must comply with a number of conditions, such as:

  • Sterilising  your dog
  • Microchipping your dog
  • Muzzling your dog in public places
  • Leashing  your dog in public places

The reason Pit bulls are restricted from most of the regions in Australia is their aggressive behaviour. Sometimes, for the sake of protecting their owners, they can attack strangers and other dogs. They have been involved in a number of serious attacks, including fatalities of other pets, in Australia.

Also, Check Out: Can you take your Dog on a Plane in Australia?


As a pet relocation company, we understand that it can be difficult to leave your dog behind when you move to Australia. Therefore, we have done complete research regarding the banned dog breeds for you in this blog. Hence, the five banned dog breeds in Australia are the American Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, and Perro de Presa Canario. These breeds are banned due to their reputation for aggression and their potential to cause serious harm. However, the specific breeds that are banned can differ from one state or territory to another.

If you are considering getting a dog, it is important to do your research and choose a breed that is a good fit for your lifestyle and experience level. If you are still determining whether or not your dog is a banned breed, or if you have any questions about importing a dog into Australia, please contact us. We are happy to help you navigate the process and ensure that your pet friend can join you on your new adventure in Australia.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which dog breeds are not allowed in Australia?

The dog breeds that are not allowed in Australia are:

  1. Japanese Tosa
  2. Fila Brasileiro
  3. Dogo Argentino
  4. American Pit Bull Terrier
  5. Perro de Presa Canario

Can I own a pit bull in Australia?

Yes, you can own a pitbull in Australia under certain conditions. First of all, you have to get approval from local authorities. You can only own pit bulls which have descended from the Australian origin.

Can I import a banned breed dog into Australia?

No, you cannot import a banned breed dog into Australia. If you are caught trying to import a banned breed dog, your dog will be seized, and you will be fined a certain amount.

What should I do if I already own a banned breed dog?

If you already own a banned breed dog, you must register them with your local council and comply with strict regulations. For example, you must keep your dog muzzled and on a leash at all times when it is in public.

What are the alternatives to owning a banned breed dog?

Many wonderful dog breeds are not banned in Australia. If you are looking for a new dog, I recommend doing some research to find a breed that is suitable for your lifestyle and needs.

Dr Matthew Murdoch

Dr Matthew Murdoch

Veterinary Surgeon, Director

Dr Matthew is a UK-trained practicing Veterinarian and a globally recognized expert in pet travel who is committed to providing safe and smooth journeys for your beloved pets. His compassion and care for animals are second to none.